Two Battles That Saved the West: Lepanto 1571 and Vienna 1683
Bradley Lecture by Michael Novak
About This Event

Four hundred years after the battles of Lepanto on October 7, 1571, and Vienna on September 11-12, 1683, these dates still rankle in the jihadist mind. For it was through these battles that the navies and armies of the West threw back almost fatal attacks on their civilization. In 1571, Listen to Audio

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a massive Ottoman fleet was defeated at sea on its way to subdue Italy. In 1683, after a huge Ottoman army marched through the Balkans to besiege Vienna, they were routed by the stirring surprise attack of King Jan III Sobieski's Polish expeditionary forces and his German allies.

Miguel Cervantes, who was wounded at Lepanto, described the fighting as “the most noble and memorable event that past centuries have seen,” and great paintings of the battle fill civic buildings in Venice and Rome. Yet, most Westerners today have forgotten these two historic days, and while the West has lost the historical significance of these dates, Islamic memory runs deep. Throughout history, any land once conquered by Islamic armies has generally remained Muslim. For Muslims to lose a territory considered as their own is to incur a religious obligation to wrest it back.

Thus, it should surprise no one that the date chosen to bring the new resurgence of modern Muslim ambition to the whole world’s attention was also the eleventh of September, three centuries after the battle of Vienna. The announcement came in bursts of flame and black smoke from the two tallest towers of the West's financial capital.

In this Bradley Lecture, theologian and historian Michael Novak will recount the historic battles and explain the Muslim imperative to claim the West for Allah.

Michael Novak is the George Frederick Jewett Scholar in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy at AEI. He is the 1994 recipient of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. Mr. Novak has written twenty-seven influential books on the philosophy and theology of culture, especially the essential elements of a free society. His landmark The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism (Madison, 1982) was published underground in Poland in 1984 and, after 1989, in Czechoslovakia, Germany, China, Hungary, Bangladesh, Korea, and many countries in Latin America. His latest book is No One Sees God: The Dark Night of Atheists and Believers (Doubleday, 2008). For his work and influence, he has received many international awards.

5:15 p.m.
Arthur C. Brooks, AEI
Adjournment and Wine and Cheese Reception
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